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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kristen-Wilson.jpgPreparing for a successful future is a major priority for senior chemistry (secondary education) major Kristen Wilson. This summer, she is devoting her time to chemistry education research, which she knows will ultimately benefit her decision to become a high school chemistry teacher. 

Wilson is spending 10 weeks as an undergraduate researcher in chemistry education at North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota. She is conducting research on data collected by Dr. James Nyachwaya, assistant professor of chemistry education at NDSU and Wilson’s advisor.

In addition to conducting research and analyzing data, Wilson will be attending seminars on education based research and professional development. At the completion of her internship, Wilson will present her final research at a poster session, which she will bring back to Waynesburg.

“The poster will come back to Waynesburg, and if it is exceptional research, I can get additional funding to present the research at national conferences,” said Wilson.

Aside from Wilson’s work, she is taking advantage of networking opportunities with the NDSU faculty. These relationships may have the ability to provide her future career opportunities upon graduating from Waynesburg.

“Opportunities that internships and research open include strengthening research abilities, but this experience is showing me a field of research that I may have never seen,” said Wilson. “It is a very unique type of research that I will be bringing back to Waynesburg when I return in the fall.”

Wilson credits her participation in various Waynesburg activities for helping her have a stronger ability to work closely with others. She is a member of the Commuter Club, Relay for Life and the American Chemical Society (ACS). Wilson has also been inducted into the education honorary society, Kappa Delta Pi, and the chemistry honorary society, Gamma Sigma Epsilon.

“All of these involvements at Waynesburg have helped me become more comfortable with working with others and being a leader,” said Wilson. “They have provided me an opportunity to work closely with other professors and students, which has helped in this internship.”

In particular, Waynesburg’s ACS student chapter has been a great benefit to Wilson’s education. Being involved in the student chapter has introduced her to a lot of chemistry education research.

“Had I not been involved in ACS, I may not have taken an interest or even known this field existed, which, in turn, would not have made me search for opportunities like this one,” said Wilson.

Wilson will serve as the president of the University’s student chapter during the upcoming academic year.

Most of all, Wilson’s chemistry classes at Waynesburg have best prepared her for the work she is doing at NDSU.

“The chemistry classes at Waynesburg have helped me develop the skills needed to find, read and analyze research articles,” said Wilson. “The dedication to research and development of a research project that I had done at Waynesburg helped to prepare me for the expectations that Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs, such as this one here at NDSU, expect.”

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b2ap3_thumbnail_JK.jpgThree Waynesburg University students attended the American Chemical Society (ACS) Central Eastern Regional Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, in May 2016. Two students, Jelena Kyle and Brandon Bosley, presented research at the conference.

Kyle, a forensic science alumna, presented her poster, “The classification of key odorants in coffee using solid phase microextraction and gas chromatography mass spectrometry.” The goal of her research was to determine what chemically changes in coffee beans over time.

“I not only gained experience from presenting my poster to a large group of professionals, but I also gained a few contacts, as well as some helpful tips as I travel onto graduate school and continue to do research,” said Kyle.

Even though Kyle graduated prior to attending the meeting, she still wanted to go and present her research so that she could continue to support Waynesburg University.

“I have realized now that no matter what, you may leave Waynesburg, but Waynesburg never really leaves you,” said Kyle.

Bosley, a senior forensic science major, presented his research that examined how heat affects the presumptive and confirmatory forensic analysis of human blood. His poster was titled “Does temperature effect confirmatory analysis of blood, red blood cell morphology and DNA degradation.”

“For me, the meeting was important for the biological and medical lectures and how chemistry was involved,” said Bosley. “I am excited to get into my biochemistry and upperclassman biology classes to see how I can tie in the information that I learned at the conference.”

Bosley credits his classes at Waynesburg with enabling him to relate and process the material presented at the conference.

“My upperclassman science classes gave me the background and ability to understand some complex material that the professionals were rattling off like it was everyday language,” said Bosley.

Kristen Wilson, a senior chemistry (secondary education) major, also attended the conference and had the opportunity to network with professionals in the field, learn about the process of conducting research and discover possible graduate school opportunities.

“I gained a lot of knowledge about the chemistry education research that is taking place right now, which helps me understand how the field is growing,” said Wilson. “It also made me more prepared and excited for my Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this summer at North Dakota State University.”b2ap3_thumbnail_BB_20160711-145956_1.jpg

Wilson insists that her Waynesburg experience has helped her grow as a professional, while building her resume and understanding the value of research, all of which she is excited to bring back to campus.

“I am able to bring back to my classes at Waynesburg an excitement and interest in research that conferences, such as this one, instill in me,” said Wilson.

ACS regional meetings provide a smaller venue than the national meeting and reflect the diverse professional interests of their geographic regions. These meetings feature technical programs on a variety of topics, poster sessions and expositions.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_5-5-ACS-Chapter-Award.jpgWaynesburg University’s American Chemical Society (ACS) student chapter was selected to receive the “Outstanding Award” for the sixth consecutive year. The award, a result of the chapter’s activities for the 2014-15 academic year, was recently presented at the ACS National Meeting in San Diego, California.

The congratulatory letter from ACS President Diane Grob Schmidt read as follows: “Professors Evonne Baldauff and Robert LaCount, faculty advisors of the chapter, deserve special commendation. Few faculty members are willing to make the great commitment of time and energy that a successful chapter requires. Professor Baldauff and Professor LaCount’s efforts certainly represent the best in undergraduate science education and mentoring around the country. We extend our warmest congratulations to the students and Professors Baldauff and LaCount for setting such a fine example for other chapters and being exemplary chemistry ambassadors!”

More than 400 student chapter reports were submitted for review by The Society Committee on Education. There were 314 awards given, including 55 outstanding, 99 commendable and 160 honorable mention awards.

“Winning the outstanding award is a wonderful recognition for the efforts that our students undertake through various activities, events and projects,” said Dr. Evonne Baldauff, assistant professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science at Waynesburg University. “Receiving this award also validates that the work we do is meaningful to the audiences we serve, which is very important as we strive to be excellent representatives of the University.”

Led by Baldauff and Dr. Robert LaCount, professor emeritus of chemistry, the student chapter was highly involved in campus and community outreach activities throughout the year, such as monthly labs for homeschooled students, a Haunted Lab open to the campus and local community, among many others. The chapter also assisted with the undergraduate portion of the Central Regional Meeting of the ACS in Pittsburgh.

According to Baldauff, the reviewing committee noted that there were only five weeks out of the academic year when the chapter was not involved in an event or project.

ACS is a congressionally independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_3-9-Crosby-lecture_Gray.jpgWaynesburg University will host guest speaker Dr. Harry Gray Tuesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall as part of the Glenn A. and Jane L. Crosby Lecture Series. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend. 

Gray is the Arnold O. Beckman professor of chemistry and the founding director of the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology. Dr. Gray has published more than 850 research papers and 18 books related to chemical bonding, elements and the field of organic chemistry. 

“Dr. Gray is a renowned and well-respected chemist,” said Evonne Baldauff, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science and associate professor of chemistry. “Having him visit campus and interact with our students is a fantastic opportunity. He is an engaging speaker, and I anticipate that those attending the Crosby Lecture will gain an understanding of the ways scientists are working to advance solar energy capture and conversion.”  

Gray’s lecture, “The 21st Century Solar Army,” will address the current trend of designing solar-driven molecular machines that could be used on a global scale to store solar energy. Since storing solar energy for use at night is a challenge in the industry, Gray will discuss what he and his fellow researchers have been doing to address the problem. 

Gray has made inspirational contributions to the understanding of chemical bonding of metal complexes, mechanisms of inorganic reactions, spectroscopy and magneto-chemistry of inorganic compounds. He received the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 2004 for “pioneering work in bioinorganic chemistry, unraveling novel principles of structure and long-range electron transfer in proteins.” Gray is also the recipient of the National Medal of Science from President Ronald Regan in 1986.

The Glenn A. and Jane L. Crosby Lectures, funded by 1950 Magna Cum Laude graduates of Waynesburg University, Glenn A. and Jane Lichtenfels Crosby, bring to the University visiting scholars who are distinguished in their disciplines. During the visit, the scholars often interact with faculty, staff and students, giving guest lectures in classes, formal presentations and informal group talks. The event culminates in a final public lecture.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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The Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science at Waynesburg University will hold its annual Science Day Thursday, Dec. 10. Organized in conjunction with the Office of Admissions and the American Chemical Society, local high school students and University applicants have the opportunity to spend the day as a science student.

Intended to excite high school students about science, participants will enjoy hands-on activities and lectures by students and faculty as well as demonstrations. A question-and-answer session will be offered to provide prospective students with the opportunity to ask undergraduates about the college experience.

Special presentations in chemistry, biology and forensic science will occur in addition to a tour of the marine biology lab, all hosted by professors and students.

Dr. Evonne Baldauff, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Forensic Science and associate professor of chemistry, believes high school students will benefit from attending Science Day.

“Science Day is important because it gives high school students the opportunity to see firsthand what it is like to study science at a college level,” said Baldauff. “While on campus, students will interact with faculty and current undergraduates and experience the exciting programs we have in the sciences at Waynesburg University.”

The University will also host an additional Science Day event for prospective students during the spring semester, Thursday, April 14.

For more information, contact Baldauff at ebaldauf@waynesburg.edu or 724-852-3617.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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